[Nottingham] Yesterday's (not so) cancelled Navigation Talk (21st Aug)

ForkBombFluf fluf at freeshell.org
Fri Aug 22 09:34:08 UTC 2008

First off, many thanks again to Jason for coming to the rescue and putting 
together a presentation at short notice-- it certainly made for an 
educational and thought-provoking evening for all of us, I dare say. 
Sorry the laptop to display it on wasn't there in the timeframe expected. 
Some of us had once again managed to lose track of time at the Big Wok 
(some sort of temporal anomoly near the chocolate fountain, I reckon), 
lost in discussions not limited to but including:  allotments, the 
creative routes chosen by SatNav systems, change blindness, Mike's T-shirt 
collection (yet another non "Tux Games" title made an appearance), and the 
frequency of other "anomolies" which are probably best left unstated.

Jason's talk seemed to be largely borne out of his frustrations with newer 
equipment and multi-purpose OS combinations not working as easily or as 
smoothly as he remembers them in the good ole' days of computing.

The use of threading was called into question, and part of Jason's idea 
for tackling the sorts of problems he routinely encounters today proposes 
the use of lots of small, simple processors in an excruciatingly local 
(possibly even wireless) network of sorts, each to be assigned its own 
individual thread, instead of queing up for a large complex processor.

Is this part of where GNU Hurd took a wrong turn at Albequerque, and will 
it eventually lead to its complete downfall?

Trying to marry up a multi-pupose OS which has to try and keep up with the 
myriad plethora of mix-and-match hardware available today as opposed to 
the very standard single-manufacturer built boxes of yesteryear, such as 
the ZX Spectrum (Ahh, nostalgia ain't what it used to be.) was put forth 
and discussed as a possible factor in some of Jason's recent frustrations, 
as well.

Are large cumbersome, multi-purpose OSes losing out on reliability due to 
the simplicity and purpose-built design of embeded systems?  Have 
programmers for easily updateable (ie. non-embeded) systems now become a 
bit too lazy, unleashing software that maybe isn't quite ready, knowing 
that it can "just be updated over the internet" at a later time?

FYI, I don't *really* have any idea what I've just written, most of it 
came from scrambling up random magnetic letters on the fridge this 
morning, (hope you like it) so if anyone has anything to add or correct, 
please, please, please, feel free

Also, sorry Andy and I had to leave so early, we'd have liked to stayed 
'till the brutal end, but, alas, some multi-purpose OSes running on 
mix-and-macth hardware which has been tasked with supporting had crashed 
once again, requiring his semi-immediate attention. (or so he says....)

Till next time,


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